Reflections on 2022

Kapil Dawda
7 min readDec 28, 2022


2022 was a mixed bag of a year. Even though it has seen a cycle of lows and highs, I leave the year feeling wiser, kinder and more resilient.

Unlike my other posts on wellbeing and weaving, this one is personal. I usually think about 3 learnings, practices, and feelings that have stood out to me in the year. I have added 3 highlights and lowlights in this reflection to set the context.

Three Highlights

My Daughter

My daughter has been a source of playfulness, joy and gratitude. Despite feeling fear and doubt for some time surrounding her birth, I have accepted her with openness and love, setting the foundations of a life-long friendship.

My daughter has been a source of playfulness, joy and gratitude.

The Wellbeing Movement Community

Seeing many acts of compassion and generosity in the Wellbeing Movement community and the participants’ willingness to engage in difficult conversations has been heartening. The core group has played a more significant role in stewarding the community, modelling and upholding its values. I am seeing glimpses of a movement coming alive.

Recognising and Healing from Trauma

I saw some old limiting beliefs resurface vehemently due to a prolonged phase of uncertainty and stuckness. I was proud of my choice to stay with the discomfort, examine its source, let go and reframe multiple times in the year.

Three Lowlights

Stuckness in my Career

As a family, our plans to transition to a different country were in the making for a couple of years. Many factors in the transition were outside my influence. However, the uncertainty of place and time also meant being unable to make long-term, spiritually aligned choices at work. Besides confronting some deep-seated beliefs with kindness, I had to be creative and resourceful to break free and take action within my locus of control.

Physical Wellbeing

As a family, we fell more ill this year than in the four years preceding. Thankfully, our illnesses were nothing major, but they were frequent and prolonged. Caring for the baby while being unwell was exhausting. It threw us off track on our physical fitness routine, further impacting our health.

Unresolved Tensions

I lived with unresolved tension in a few close personal and professional relationships. I had to recognise and meet my needs imaginatively while accepting that others were not yet ready to acknowledge and address the root of the challenge.

Three Learnings

Stillness as a Necessity

For most of this year, I was trying to replace the engine of an aeroplane while it was in motion, leading to failed attempts and frustration. It took me a while to realise I needed to welcome stillness. I grew most when I made space to stay with what was arising. Not surprisingly, the actions arising from this stillness aligned best with my deepest intention and values.

When there is stillness, we see clearly (Photo by Harli Marten on Unsplash)

Relationships are the Roots

Inspired by Margaret Wheatley’s insight, scale took a new meaning this year, especially in my work with the Wellbeing Movement.

Rather than worry about critical mass, our work is to foster critical connections. We don’t need to convince large numbers of people to change; instead, we need to connect with kindred spirits. Through these relationships, we will develop new knowledge, practices, courage and commitment that lead to broad based change.

~ Margaret Wheatly

I intentionally focused on relationships instead of growth this year. As a result, a sense of belonging and care for each other was nurtured within the community, which in turn became a driver of initiative and co-ownership. Instead of growing the community, we deepened some of our capacities to weave by being and seeing together.

Critical Relationships over Critical Mass (Photo by Wilhelm Gunkel on Unsplash)

Embodied Wisdom

I received this warm invitation from Gautam John this year, in which he said:

My biggest realisation has been to see leadership as a fractal. Before we can change the systems around us, we need to change ourselves. Every time we interact with someone, we have an opportunity to show up in a new way. We can act from a place of love, compassion, and understanding. This is how we seed fractals of change — by changing ourselves.

~Gautam John

I observed that the ripples of change had greater momentum and lesser resistance when I embodied the change I wished to see in the world. The process helped me find like-hearted allies and enabled emergence aligned with my intention. It also helped me let go of the need to know more and do more under the pretext of urgency.

I will dedicate 2023 to embodying more deeply what I have learnt in the last couple of years about weaving, wellbeing and regeneration, even if it means reducing the pace of acquiring new knowledge.

Instead of changing our world, changing ourselves is the most promising proposition (Courtesy: The School of Life)

Three Practices

Examining and Articulating Needs

Our emotions arise from our needs and not our stimuli. This perspective has been liberating and has shifted the focus inwards under challenging circumstances. I have questioned every time I feel a negative emotion — shock, disgust, anger, etc. — and asked myself, “What is the unmet need?”

It has had many benefits for me:

  • Articulating the need has helped me understand myself better. Some patterns are emerging, which are often connected to my early life experiences and lingering traumas.
  • I have discovered more ways to meet my need instead of getting stuck on the form it takes (the want). For instance, the need for security can be fulfilled in more ways than the want for money.
  • It has also helped me see others through the lens of their unmet needs and empathise better with them.

Letting Go

Letting go seemed a natural next step to acceptance, which I was working on last year.

This year, I have learnt to let go of —

  • Many limiting beliefs, like ones around “not being good enough”, “being in control”, “being fiercely independent”, “being efficient”, etc.
  • Relationships that are no longer nurturing
  • My attachment to my organisational and work identities
  • The hurt that others have caused me and I have caused others

The process of letting go has been effort-intensive but always helpful. Listening to the body and trusting its cues (that indicate suffering) has been a good starting point. Tools like inner child healing and family constellations have been beneficial. (Thank you, Kanu Priya and Geeta, for holding space)

A Morning Reminder

I saw this video on the monk’s morning ritual in our wellbeing community.

5 things to make your mornings better [TL; DW: The monk speaks about five steps in the video: 1) get centred & reflect on death, 2) make your bed, 3) chanting and meditation, 4) do an act of generosity, 5) do chores.] (Courtesy: Nick Keomahavong)

While I have not yet embodied all 5 steps consistently, I have started every day by centring myself, taking three deep breaths, and reminding myself, “Today is not guaranteed. Being alive and witnessing the beauty on Earth is a privilege. Being alive with my loved ones, an even greater one.”

The practice has made me find beauty in mundaneness and gratitude, even in my not-okayness. It has also offered a constant reminder to appreciate everything present before me and not lose my inner harmony to the feelings of despair and anger about the state of the world.

Three Feelings


Fear has been a dominant emotion in difficult times this year. It no longer controlled me when I labelled it, acknowledged it, and stayed with it. Fear was a friend that told me something within was calling for my attention. As a result, I could heal and restore myself better.


While working from home, I saw my daughter’s interruptions not as a disruption but as a replenishment for my emotional reserves. Being around a baby has been an invitation for joy, spontaneity and playfulness every day. I was often smiling, occasionally laughing, both outside and within!

What are your sources of joy, and how have you made time for them this year? (Photo by Luca Upper on Unsplash)


This one is recurring from last year! Not only did my ‘soul community’ expand, but many of its relationships deepened. I felt seen, heard, held and supported by many new and old friends.

Moreover, I also had the chance to listen to strangers share stories with an open heart. I realised despite all our differences, we are fundamentally the same. We all want to thrive and flourish and struggle in this endeavour.

My Wish for You

I appreciate your giving this long reflection your attention. It is a sign of your love for me. I hope you feel deeply connected with yourself and your world in 2023. I wish you the strength to let go of everything that no longer serves your wellbeing. May you be happy and peaceful!


When I share, “Our emotions arise from our needs, and not our stimuli”, I don’t mean to discount the impact of systemic oppression on marginalised groups. Such impact necessitates remedy at the level of the system, as much as offering coping and healing support for the impacted groups.



Kapil Dawda

Weaving Communities and Learning Experiences for Wellbeing and Inner Growth of Individuals and Organisations